Monday, January 21, 2013

Bread Take Two: Rustic white-ish loaf

This time it was a combination of completely running out of bread (which was worse than usual because I was roasting a ham and thus had no way of making sandwiches with the leftovers!), and a desire to get this bread thing right.

I returned to old reliable, remembering that Deb had gone through a bit of an obsession with bread a few years back. There were two posts which she then simplified a little here and all three are filled with recipes I'm now feeling a bit more confident about trying out!

I based my recipe on this post though, wanting to make a loaf which was as simple as possible. It turned out well despite my experimentation although I still struggle with timing - I really like to cook at my pace rather than when the food decides it's ready, which isn't the ideal attitude for bread!

The loaf didn't end up quite the shape I was hoping for - it eventually proved quite well, but the final loaf didn't rise. I think this was a combination of my lack of attention and also the shape I made for the final prove. I guess time will tell if I've got the knack of this. It was however delicious, seemed to be the right consistency and had a lovely crust.

As is now habit, I'm telling it like it is, not necessarily as it should be!

Rustic white-ish loaf

1 cup warm water
1 1/4 tspn dried active yeast
1/4 tspn sugar
1 1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup white bread flour
Additional plain flour for dusting the loaf

Mix the warm water, yeast and sugar in a jug and leave for 5 minutes or until foam appears over the surface of the liquid.

Place all the flour in the food processor and pour in the liquid. Pulse until mix has formed into a ball and then leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. Let me machine run for about 20 seconds and then check the consistency to see if it's sufficiently kneaded -I gave mine another 20 seconds.

Place ball of dough in an oiled bowl, cover with clingwrap and leave to prove until it has doubled in size.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently press to deflate creating a square roughly 10 x 10 inches. Roll up tightly, then roll up again in the other direction before leaving to rest for 5 minutes. Gently roll out to elongate and move onto lightly dusted baking tray seam side down.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove again. About 20 minutes into this i decided I didn't like the shape of the loaf and repeated the rolling process. Leave to prove for around 30 minutes.

As you leave the loaf to prove preheat the oven to 260.

Before putting the loaf in the oven, dust the top with some more flour and slash the top a couple of times (I snipped it with scissors). Turn the oven down to 230 and place the loaf in also placing an empty baking tray on a lower shelf to absorb some of the heat.

After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 180 and bake for another 20 minutes before removing and cooling on a rack.

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